ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

College Staple Upgrade: Macaroni and Cheese

Updated on September 23, 2012

It's Cheesy and it's Cheap

When asking anyone to describe boxed macaroni and cheese, "nutritious" and "healthy" are some words that don't come to mind. However, with the price of this product being under a dollar for most generic brands, and the cook time of this product being under 10 minutes, it is one of the top staples found among college students. It is also a favorite among busy families with busy children; at least, I can recall eating a lot of it as a child.

Here are some easy ways to glam the bland:

1. Macaroni and Peas

Adding peas to macaroni and cheese is an easy way to add nutritional value without sacrificing taste. Peas are high in fiber, as well as vitamin A and vitamin C. The peas are small enough, and the cheese is globby enough to completely cover up the taste of "vegetable ick." I like to use frozen peas, because these aren't as mushy as the canned variety, and because they are easy to 'cook' with the macaroni. Towards the end of boiling the noodles, ad a 1/2 cup of frozen peas and let them simmer for about one minute. Then drain, and add cheese, milk, and butter as directed.

2. Tuna and Cheese

Adding a can of tuna fish is about the easiest thing you can do to a box of macaroni. Just open and drain the tuna, then mix it in along with the milk, butter, and cheese powder. Tuna is rich in protein, along with iron and saturated fat. Canned tuna also comes cheap; much cheaper than other meats that you may be skipping to save time and money. Don't be afraid to add other canned meats, such as chicken, too!

3. Macaroni and Cheeseburger

Fry up some ground beef (or turkey) in a skillet while you are cooking your noodles. Add the hamburger to the macaroni, and serve with hot sauce; compares well in taste to a cheeseburger! Ground beef is chop-full of protein, and for a leaner option, use ground turkey.

4. Garlic and Ham

Chop up some deli-sliced ham and garlic, then sauté that in olive oil while the macaroni is boiling. The concoction resembles bacon bits, but has a much less salty taste. This is a tasty way to add protein, as well a unique flavor, to a boring box of macaroni and cheese. In a hurry? Use garlic powder, instead. Goes excellent with chopped fresh parsley, too!


A good, non-stick sauté pan allows you to fry with less butter, and has a shorter cleanup time.
A good, non-stick sauté pan allows you to fry with less butter, and has a shorter cleanup time. | Source

5. Hot Dogs

This is very easy to do, as hot dogs come pre-cooked. There are two ways to do this, actually:


1. Chop up the hot dogs and add them to the boiling noodles. Hot dogs are often cooked in boiling water, as it is; so this is an easy corner-cutter if time is on your mind. I recommend doing this with beef hot dogs, as they are generally more flavorful than turkey or chicken dogs.


2. Chop up the hot dogs, and sauté them in the butter that you would usually add to the macaroni. After draining the noodles, add the butter and the hot dogs to the pan, then sauté for about 2 minutes (until golden brown). Then, add the noodles, milk, and cheese powder. This is a good method for chicken, turkey or tofu dogs. The butter adds more flavor to them. Also; this method is friendly to adding garlic and other spices during the sautéing process.

Get Creative!

No matter what your plans are with your boxed macaroni dinner, I encourage you to be creative! If you can think of something that tastes good with cheese on it, chances are, macaroni and cheese would taste good with that something in it.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)